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STOP Sabotaging Yourself. Ways to Manage Holiday Stress.

It’s here in 8 days.  Many of us will – if we haven’t already – gone into high alert.  Is shopping done?  Presents wrapped?  Meals planned?

We try to control the day…the schedules…the chaos.  And then we miss the magic.

Overly ambitious workloads and year-end deadlines…kids’ holiday events and their ever-increasing “energy of anticipation”…family expectations (the good and the not so easy)…worrying about what friends and family you want to spend time with… simply managing expectations –  yours and others can add to a soaring level of stress.  It’s often a season of high anxiety. 

STOP sabotaging yourself!  We’ve all been there and it doesn’t work.   So be realistic. Remember, the holidays are about joy and love. 

So how might you manage the stress?

  • Keep your social commitments, manageable.  Carefully choose who and how much time you want to spend with the people in your life.

  • Stay within your budget.  Overspending only adds more stress after the holidays.  Already crossed that line?  Consider returning a few gifts either before or after the holidays.   Less can really be more.

  • Keep holiday decorating to a minimum.  This year, we only decorated with fairy lights.  Our home looks great and clean-up will be easy.

  • Ask guests to bring a dish to share and keep your cooking to a minimum.  And if your budget permits, cater in some of the main dishes.

  • Have fun.  The game Left Right Center is a tradition every holiday with all our adult kids and the grandkids.  Find a game, dance, whatever you can do together that makes you laugh.

  • Take time for yourself.  Find a quiet corner. Close your eyes and shut down the brain.  Or take a walk and breathe in the fresh air.  Give yourself a break.    You’ll come back refreshed and more relaxed.  And it’s also a great way to keep your heart healthy during this busy season.

AND MOST IMPORTANTLY…

  • If you find your stress level rising, step away. Acknowledge the stress and name it.  Then slowly breathe in and out at least three times.  I guarantee you will feel better.  And congratulations on taking care of yourself!

  • And while you’re at it, take a moment to express your gratitude.  Reframe the stress and celebrate all the good in your life.

Wishing you a year filled with kindness, love and laughter.  You deserve it.

 

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